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ORIGINALLY, THE GREAT CITY AND REGION WE KNOW AS Osaka was not always known by this name. Long before, she was in fact the capital of Japan for a time. She was known both near and far — as far back as the Tang Dynasty and the foreign trading envoys and vessels sent sailing toward her from various foreign shores via the western coast, through the Seto inland sea, and into her great gulf — as the city of NANIWA, once the greatest port Asia had ever, ever known.
“This flower which blooms in Naniwa’s winter now blooms again in spring.”Kokin Wakushu Book of poems, Heian Period
Upon the Uemachi plateau, site of present-day Osaka Jo Castle, the Naniwa Nagara-Toyosaki Palace was built in 744 and was the first the name Naniwa was officially used. Fabled to have been borrowed from an old waka poem, “This flower which blooms in Naniwa in winter now blooms again in spring”, varying kanji character combinations were used such as 浪花 depicting a blossom riding a wave.
Recorded history as far back as year 546 tells us of a possibility that the first kanji in NAniwa was originally NA, taken from sakaNA meaning: “fish” (魚). The latter two characters are NI and WA. When put together these translate to: “garden” (庭). What these Naniwa locals intended when referring to their prized body of water upon which they dwelt, was an alluding to the ever-abundant catches of fish coining the region: “The NANIWA FISH GARDEN”.
Today the city of Osaka is the remnants of all canals and water ways used for mercantile transport and trade up and down the coastline of this big, natural aquarium. Though she isn’t quite what she used to be hailed as, she still holds lots of nutrient-rich water and lots and lots of fish.
What this translates to prospective anglers both young and old is an abundance of FREE AND FRESH FISH sanctioned by the City’s promotion of license-free access on a good many piers, pilings, moats, offshore piers and so on with the intent of getting her residents out onto the bay and enjoying the culture of fishing more and more.
Join us as we explore in this first installment, eight easy access places on the bay and two in land on Osaka’s streams. Within these next two articles, part one: a guide for beginner and re-entry anglers and part two: A “tip of the hat” on a few of the author’s favorite spots for veteran fishers possessing their own tackle. GEAR UP! Because We. Are. Going. Fishing!!
Osaka Bay Background: Three Main Players in the Fish Garden.
The massive sprawl and current of the Yodo River, carrying the perfect deep lake, freshwater purities of the inland lake, Biwa. Long before recorded time began, flowing strong and steadily onto the plains of Osaka, she created not only an inland lake (that once occupied what is now Higashi Osaka) but also a great alluvial flood plain. Deposits of sand and earth built up huge sandbars upon sandbars until a delta shelf of ground began to take shape.
The Naruto and Akashi Straits: the waters of the Western Japan Sea, entering the Seto Inland Sea meet the churning waters of the Pacific at the Naruto Strait (biggest vortex worldwide) between Shikoku and Awaji Shima’s southernmost point. These waters surge from this point through the Kii Channel into the Osaka Bay or through the Naruto Strait into the Harima Nada, travelling northward to the Akashi Strait only to meet the Pacific current again in the Osaka North Bay.
These waters mix with the fresh water of the Yodo river, churning, mixing, salt water and fresh, created a nutrient rich water to be coveted; not too cold, not too warm. Fluctuating seamlessly through the seasons, thriving with life, the bay is a fish paradise.
The Pacific current coming through the Tomogashima Strait surges in from the great Pacific Ocean down around the horn of Wakayama’s southern-most point between Shirahama, and Awaji Island’s Yura/Narugashima point. She graciously adds her colder waters of the deep Pacific and many of her breeds of fish both big and small. These currents help relegate the bay’s temperature through the year.
These are the players since time began that created a 28 m. bowl of water so fresh and rich with aquatic life, plankton, thousands of inland displaced minerals and nutrients, and attracting so many families of different breeds of fish, that today it is still such a great hold out for anglers on the hunt for tasty, fresh fish.
Let’s Get Out on the Bay
Each location below will be listen starting from the northernmost recommended spot, down the coast of Osaka prefecture’s coastline to the southernmost recommended spot on the border of Osaka and Wakayama prefectures. Each listing will reflect location, accessibility, and types of fish caught.
Seaside Cosmo Open Fishing Area (Nanko-Kita)
Seaside Cosmo Open Area – Seaside Park near Cosmosquare Station. The area overlooking the Kaiyukan Aquarium and Tempozan Ferris wheel on the right side facing the sea is an “open fishing area”. From her wide footpath you will see Osaka Port on the other side of the sea. Seaside Cosmo land pier boasts a total length of 1.4 km.
Located in Suminoe ku, while this is not “the number one spot” to fish in all of Osaka, it is —and I’ll drop this small nugget right here: admission is free! Parking and rental gear aside, it is one of only two actual seaside parks in Osaka that are no pay areas!
We mention Cosmosquare first because it is the most noteworthy northern most point on the bay with extremely easy access. While it IS notable for its location on the bay, it is NOT however, a properly maintained fishing area. More than a “fishing spot”, it is a haven for joggers, walkers, and young and old couples in love!
All the same, you will often find veteran fishers who, fishing by season, know exactly what fish they can pull out of the open sea. A super easy place to check out, and a nice retreat for the family! While it is my opinion that Seaside Cosmo is better navigated with your own tackle, there are places on the cosmo that rent out gear.
Mostly smaller fish are caught here which is great for young kids to get into fishing, but not always! Depending on the season, you can catch horse mackerel, Spanish mackerel, sardines, hair tail, and black sea bream in small – large sizes. Seasonal commuter fish such as squid and the famed Tachiwou, needle cutlass fish, can be had here as well- often caught at night.
The nearby parking lot used to be 200 yen an hour but rates in the area have raised. No harm, no foul, this place is also easy to access by train as it is just 5 minutes’ walk from the nearest railway station.
Address: Nanko-kita 1-chome, Suminoe-ku, Osaka
Access: 5 minutes’ walk from “Cosmo Square” station of Osaka Metro, or 5 minutes’ drive from “Tenpozan” ramp of Hanshin Expressway Bayshore Route
Parking fee: 200 yen/hour
Nanko Fishing Park (Suminoe-Ku, Nanko)
Osaka Nanko Fishing Park is an extremely popular destination for both beginning and veteran anglers alike. It is the only prefectural sea fishing park throughout Osaka Prefecture. It is the second park we mention that is open to the public ADMISSION FREE! Since its establishment in 1979, it has been Osaka City’s goal for her citizens to “Get out (onto the bay) and go fishing!” Boasting a 600-meter seawall able to withstand up to 3-400 fishers at a time, this park is quite possibly one of the liveliest fishing spots in all of Osaka Bay!
Located on South Pier at Osaka Nanko, this fishing park has a flat paved footpath, and roped in handrails creating a safe, child-friendly environment. There is a gear rental kiosk, store with snacks and drinks, and a resting room so the young ins don’t get bored!
A special note about this fishing park: Beginners can be taught basic fishing skills and rules by official fishing instructors every Sunday so that they too can build the confidence in both safety and employment of their equipment necessary to enjoy fishing in Osaka!
After all, fishing is a water sport and always, where water is concerned, precautions exist. These measures and small rules to live by such as quickly packing your gear and poles off the water when foul weather and potential lightening is approaching are jewels to take away from instruction given freely here at Osaka Nanko Fishing Park.
Anglers will be able to catch horse mackerel, sardines, Spanish mackerel, rockfish, sea bream, sea bass, octopus and squid. You may take home the fish you have caught, so we recommend you bring a cooler box mounted on a two wheeled pulley for storage to keep your fish fresh.
Parking lot: Free for up to 30 minutes from storage
500 yen from 30 minutes to 1 hour
1,000 yen for 1 hour or more
Rental fee 1,800 yen (with rod, reel, device (needle, basket))
※ Feed is sold separately.
Business hours / Holidays
Business period: All year[April-November] 5:00-19: 00 [December-March] 7:00-17: 00
Regular holiday: Wednesday (open on public holidays) Year-end and New Year holidays
Address: 6-9-3 Nankominami, Suminoe-ku, Osaka
Nanko Uotsuri Gogan Fishing Garden (Suminoe-Ku, Nanko -Minami)
Located on the ocean side of an artificial island in Sumiyoshi-ku to the west of Nanko Fishing Park, Uotsuri-en is not so much of the park as it is a sea fishing pier built on a sea wall on the western edge of the Port of Osaka’s South Port, South Pier with access to open bay fishing.
This is a proper fishing area closest to the central coastline of Osaka. It is noted for its grand ocean view that you are sure to enjoy while casting lines out onto her broad reaches. There are opening/closing hours, but no entry charge to the pier. Located close to the center of Osaka City and facing the open ocean, the park is visited by everyone from fishing enthusiasts to young beginners!
There are plenty of fish throughout the year, such as horse mackerel, sardines, rockfish, octopus, black porgy, scorpion fish, cutlass, sea bass, and sea bream. Tachiuwou, silver cutlass abounds here late summer through November. The spacious fishing park has enough room for around 450-500 people to go fishing at the same time.
While it is recommended to pack your own gear, rental equipment is available as well as guidance by experienced instructors! Even middle school and elementary school children can come here with minimal gear, purchase bait, and start fishing with ease. Again, entry is free, making this popular leisure spot very family-friendly indeed.
Address: 6-9-3 Minami-konan, Suminoe-ku, Osaka
Access: Take No.15 bus from “Ferry Terminal” station of Osaka Metro, then get off at “Minami-konan 6-chome”. Or, drive for 10 minutes from Minami-konan IC of Hanshin Expressway Route 4 Bayshore Route.
Open hours: April – November/5:00 – 19:00, December – March/7:00 – 17:00
Fees: No entry fee to Utsurien (parking charge if going by car)
Maritime Fishing Moat OPA (Sennan)
This is a marine fishing business run moat in Misaki Town, Sennan! It is a netted fishing pond and platform(s) floating on the sea, 3 minutes by boat from the shore. Reservations are required the day before, but if space is available on the day, same-day reservations are OK.
Every Wednesday and the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month are regular holidays. If the regular holiday is a national holiday, OPA will be open.
It is recommended that you register online and enter the boarding list page in advance, print that out and bring it with you. It is recommended that you come earlier in the day for the first course but if you come later, the fishing hours will be more minimal however, the fee will not change.
Fish to be had at OPA are pink and black Seabream, striped Jack, Yellowtail, Grunt, Flounder, Amber, Jack, and olive yellowtail. Prices for joining a course at OPA are listed below.
Per Opa staff, they admonish this: One fishing rod per person! Bringing in your own bait, pseudo bait or otherwise, multiple hooks or needles, lures, etc. are prohibited. As this is a stocked pond with four releases a day, one rod, one hook and float only will suffice under a fair play rule. There is a rental route available for ¥1500 per rod.
If the Rod and Reel is damaged you will be charged a 1500 in deductible. If you are lucky, and unable to catch a fish during your stay here, will you promise you will go home with a red sea bream for each person so that you don’t go home empty-handed! Please come try us here at OPA!
|Half price for women and elementary school children
|Depending on the season, there are various courses such as the striped beak fish course and the olive course. ※ Same price for men and women and children※ Limited time until mid-December
*Boat charters are available. See OPA website for prices, courses, and details!
Address / Phone number
3821 Tanagawatanigawa, Misaki-cho, Sennan-gun, Osaka
Tajiri Sea Fishing Port (Rinku-Sennan)
This is another marine fishing moat in the north of Rinku Port, Tajiri-cho, Sennan-gun, Osaka! Spanned by a massive 30 m. wide bridge overpass providing shade in some of the hottest parts of the day. Women and children therefore are encouraged to try their hand at fishing at Tajiri. The spacious platforms are laid out upon the water where multiple fishers can experience “The big fish catch”. Fish to be had are: red sea bream, striped beak fish, big grunt, white-eye, amberjack, amberjack, yellowtail, nourishing flatfish, natural stone bream, black soybean, sea bass, que, gray, Lucky bream (with complimentary ticket redemption tag).
Reservations are required the day before, but if space is available on the day, same-day reservations are OK. However, many times of the year reservations are backed up as much as a month for the general course. Therefore, it is encouraged to join their website and put your reservation in as early as possible with your name and the number of party. Many events are held here with the general public encouraged to join!
Please see their website for further details. Both courses and chargers are available.
Address / Phone Number
Rinku Port Kita, Tajiri Town, Sennan District, Osaka Prefecture
0724-65-0099 (Reservation reception 7:00-17:00)
Business period: All year
Business hours: 7: 00-13:00 (reception until 6:30)
Regular holiday Wednesday (open on public holidays)
Maritime Hori Southern Fishing Moat (Rinkuminamihama-Sennan)
Sennan a city of moats! Yet another marine fishing moat in Rinkuminamihama, Sennan City, Hori Southern is a very popular offshore fishing moat spot! It is important to note that advance reservations are required and that in consideration of safety, infants under elementary school age cannot enter here.
The charm and popularity, revolving around Marine Fishing Port Southern is for the fact that you can easily and safely catch large fish that most often cannot be caught on anything other than a charter or a fishing boat out to see. Here at Southern, you can enjoy fishing upon the fishpond facing the land so that you don’t have to worry about seasickness!
The fish released in the pond are various breeds of both natural and farmed fish, and anything that you can catch, you can take home. fishing spaces are allotted. Fishing with friends and family, children, couples, anglers from beginner to advanced can have fun here! You can enjoy fishing all day, eat what you catch, or have your catch cooked for you.
Osaka Marine Fishing Hori Southern/ 大阪海上釣堀サザン (sazanfisher.com)
Business hours / Holidays
Business period: All year
Business hours: 6:00-14: 00 (start 7:00-)
Reception will be accepted at the reception office from 6:00 to 6:30 on the day. After the lottery of the raft, we will guide you to the cage in order.
If you do not have a reservation, you can participate if there is a vacancy on the day.
In case of bad weather ・ In case of typhoon, it may rise early and be canceled.
No regular holidays
Address / phone number
2-202 Rinkuminamihama, Sennan City, Osaka Prefecture Inside the Tarui Fisheries Cooperative
072-482-0316 (Reservation reception 9: 00-16: 00)
Tarui Sport Fishing Harbor (Sennan-shi)
Tarui Fishery Harbor in Sen-nan-shi has a beach, and the area with lots of tetra pods next to the beach is open to the public for fishing. This is not a maintained fishing park; therefore, footing is not ideal. But there is not serious problem to fish when it is fine day. There are whitings and yellowtails. As there are bunch of tetra pods here, you can enjoy rockfish-catching to get Japanese stingfish, octopus, and sea ruffes.
Address: Rinku-minamihama 2-chome, Sennan-shi, Osaka
Access: 10 minutes’ walk from “Tarui” station of Nankai Main Line. Or, 15 minutes’ drive to the south from “Izumi-sano” exit of Hanshin Expressway Route 4 Bayshore Route
Fees: No charge.
Totto Park Koshima (Minami Sennan-gun)
This fishing place is very popular even though it is a little far away from the central area of Osaka. During summer season, numbered tickets to enter are given out from 5:00am. This place is located nearby the prefectural boarder between Osaka and Wakayama; thus the quality of water is different from more northern fishing spots in Osaka. There is a pier stretching out onto the water, so that visitors can enjoy fishing red sea breams, yellowtails, flounders and other typical seawater fish. Also, this place has a takeaway shop for a quick snack. By the way, “Totto” means fish in Japanese baby talk.
Address: 455-1 Tanagawa-koshima, Sennan-gun Misaki-cho, Osaka TEL：072-447-5126
Access: 10 minutes by bus from “Tanagawa” station of Tanagawa Line. Or drive to the south on National Route 26 from “Izumi-sano Minami” of Hanshin Expressway Route 4 Bayshore Route, then go into Osaka Prefectural Road (Misaki Kadakosen).
Trading hours: 6:00 – 20:00 (Mar – Nov), 7:00 – 18:00 (Dec – Feb), closed on Fridays.
Fees: 1500 yen/adult, 1000 yen/child (all day); 1000 yen/adult, 500 yen/child (15:00 and after)
Okumizuma Athletic Sports (Kaizuka-Mizuma)
This non-bay, freshwater fishing spot is located south of Osaka just an hour from Namba by Nankai and Mizuma railways. When you get off the Mizuma train at Mizuma Station, you will feel like you are far, far away from busy Osaka City. Forget city life! enjoy the fresh air and fresh mountain stream!
Many rainbow trout tribe in this lively fishing spot. You can fish then cook with the on-site barbecue equipment. Rental fishing equipment costs 1,500 yen and includes a fishing rod, fishing reel, bucket, feed, and barbecue grill. Alternatively, you can bring your own fishing equipment. However, you will have to pay a fee of 2,000 yen for rainbow trout fishing.
One good point however, you don’t need to pay an extra fee if you catch many fish. Customers are required to book the barbecue in advance and Okumizuma Athletic Sports offers barbecue foods and equipment for 2,500 yen per person. Alternatively, you can bring your own food but will be charged with a commission fee at the extra cost of 500 yen per person.
From Namba in Osaka, catch a Nankai train to Kaizuka and then transfer to a Mizuma train to get off at Mizuma. If you have a JR pass, catch a Kansai Airport or Wakayama bound local or rapid train from Osaka or Tennoji Station to Kumatori. From Mizuma or JR station, catching a taxi is the best way to get to Okumizuma Athletic Sports, one of lively fishing spots in the wider Osaka Region!
Address: 24 Kotsumi, Kaizuka, Osaka Prefecture
Chihaya River Trout Fishing Area
God’s country! Towering cedars, high sloping mountains, blue sky, and warm sunshine abounds at the Chihaya Retreat.
This is your author’s favourite spot not far from my own home. My own kids grew up enjoying this populous trout stream full of rainbows and brown trout farmed just upstream from the retreat cabin. Fishing is available on stream platforms, and surrounding ponds. It is a popular spot that you and your children, or friends can enjoy all year round. Minamikawachi-gun’s own trout farms! It is well managed, you don’t have to worry about the toilet or food, and the staff will kindly teach you how to fish, so you can catch and release, or, catch and keep.
There are charges for what you decide to keep and take away, and additional charges if you choose for the staff to cook the fish for you.
Address / Phone Number
1262-4 Chihaya Akasaka Village, Minamikawachi District, Osaka Prefecture